Independence Pass has officially closed for the season.

Mountain Pass Closes Early

Typically, the closing of Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 doesn't close until November, but an early-season snowstorm closed the road this week and the Colorado Department of Transportation decided to close it for the season. The pass has seen snow every day this week and CDOT decided the time was now to shut it down.

Plowing and Travel Is Unsafe

Obviously, the pass will see much more significant snow accumulation in the coming weeks, but the Independence Pass Foundation says "wind-deposited snow has made plowing and travel unsafe."

CDOT says plowing the steep switchbacks on Highway 82 is not safe during the winter months and there are sections of the road that are subject to significant avalanche hazard.

Early November Closure Would Be Typical

Last year, Independence Pass remained open until November 13. Twice in the last 10 years, the highway didn't close until as late as November 17. This year's October closing of Independence Pass marks just the second time in the past 10 it has closed before November.

Typically, Independence Pass remains closed until late May. CDOT normally opens the highway right before the Memorial Holiday Weekend.

Snowy Images of Colorado's Independence Pass

Every year we receive the news that Independence Pass has closed for the season. The winding, snow and ice-covered road becomes too treacherous to be maintained for safe travel. If you've never seen Independence Pass in the winter, you'll appreciate the following images that give us just a small idea of how treacherous it can be in the winter.

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